What are Red Imported Fire Ants?

Fire ant

What are Red Imported Fire Ants?

Red Imported Fire Ants are dark reddish brown in color and range in size from 1/16 to 1/4 of an inch. Originally introduced to the U.S. from Brazil, the ants have widely spread throughout the southeast and southwest. They prefer to construct their mounds in areas that are open and exposed to the sun. RIFA mounds are found in locations with sandy soil, so the mounds look like piles of sand.  The mounds may have galleries that extend 4 to 6 feet underground.  After heavy rainfall, the colony will move to higher ground where the mounds become more visible.

Are They Dangerous?

Fire ants are typically found in residential lawns and around businesses, parks, schools, playing fields, and yards. When RIFA mounds are disturbed, the worker ants appear to swarm or boil out of the ground in very aggressive defensive behavior.  They will bite and sting any intruder repeatedly. They are attracted to electrical currents and will nest in and around a/c units, pool pumps, etc.  Occasionally the RIFA will nest inside the walls of homes or buildings, this will usually happen after heavy rainfalls. These ants can be a threat to the elderly and small children inside a structure

In addition to experiencing the painful burning from the sting, the results are red bumps that develop into white pustules within 24 to 48 hours and may take up to 10 days to heal. Secondary infections and permanent scarring are also results of the sting. A few people suffer severe allergic reactions to the fire ant venom, and in rare cases, have even gone into anaphylactic shock.

Contact Venice Pest Control

At Venice Pest Control, we have been in business for over 50 years, and we are highly experienced in dealing with fire ants and other pests. If you suspect that you have an infestation of red imported fire ants around your home or business, contact us today.

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